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Radio Nigeria’s property sold without management’s awareness

The Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Federal Government Landed Property says it has powers to sell or lease out federal government property without the prior knowledge of the owner agency.

Secretary of the Committee, Bala Sanusi stated this at a resumed investigative hearing by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating abandoned Federal Government property across the country.

Mr Sanusi stated that it will be cumbersome for them to inform all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of their intention to sell off or lease out the over 25,000 properties handed over to it through the report of the Oluwole Rotimi committee.

He was responding to questions on the sale of a property located on No. 45 Martins Street, Lagos belonging to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) but sold to Seamens Traders Limited for a paltry sum of N100 million.

Mallam Sanusi also told the Committee that the 6 story building sitting on just 387Sq meters of land was sold as a burnt property in 2010, adding that it was gutted by fire before the sale and was also gutted by fire before it was handed over to the buyers in 2019.

However, when the lawmakers sought to know whether the property was sold at a giveaway price because it was burnt, the PIC scribe backtracked, saying he was not in a position to say whether it was burnt or not since he was not the Secretary when it was sold and therefore was not privy to the transaction.

“We are not selling, we are leasing and after the expiration of the lease, the property will revert back to government”, he said.

Director-General FRCN, Dr Mansur Liman informed the lawmakers that the property was sold without their knowledge, adding that they got to know of the sale when the buyers contacted them in early 2021 claiming ownership of the property.

Member of the committee, Ms Lynda Ikpeazu insisted that the Presidential committee has no right to sell government property without conditions and demanded the report and the Federal Executive Committee mandate which the committee was acting on.

He however failed to answer the question of what the tenants in the building at the time it was sold were paid to the government as rent.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu, editing by Muzha Kucha